RIP Tom Osborn
I'm probably not the only person on Aikiweb who got an email today, announcing the death of Tom Osborn on December 19. Tom did many things in his life, but was probably best known here for his work in teaching aikido to veterans with PTSD. Tom and I had many email conversations on the subject of PTSD, and I'm here to tell you, he is one of those who Got It. He was someone I could talk to without fear of censure; worse, without fear of that horrible isolating gap of incomprehension. He invited me to become involved in his programs, but I held back due to not being a combat vet. I still think it was the right decision, but I regret not making the effort to meet him in person.
There's a lot of bad, sad stuff in the world. Tom saw some thing that he knew he couldn't fix, but thought he could make better, and he set himself to work at it even as his own health declined. He did it knowing that he would die without "fixing" the problem, that he would do so if he lived to be a hundred. That's a rare, quiet, lonely kind of courage. He could have cursed the darkness; instead he lit the candle.
Contributions in his memory can be made to Keganin No Senshi Aikido (KNSA), P.O. Box 1072, Holyoke, MA 01040